The doctrine of in loco parentis and the right of the teacher to inflict corporal punishment has a long history of acceptance. The doctrine itself has survived for centuries with no serious challenges to its validity or acceptability. The doctrine states that a teacher stands in the place of the parent and has the right to discipline his students, including the right to inflict corporal punishment for reasonable cause and in a reasonable manner. The basis of the doctrine is an assumption of the delegation of parental authority and an assumption of the correctness of the teacher's actions. A direct result of this doctrine is the passage of statutes in several states granting the teacher the right to a reasonable use of corporal punishment. The effect of statutes of this nature is the infringement of two very basic fundamental rights: the right of a parent to bring up his child as he sees fit, and the right of a child to be free from invasions of the dignity and integrity of his person.


Symposium on School Law - 1971 - A Survey